LinkedIn is one of the main social networking platforms today. Earlier this year LinkedIn announced it had reached over 100 million registered users, making it one of the big four social networks on the Internet. The other three are of course MySpace, Twitter and the biggest of them all, Facebook.
LinkedIn was founded nine years ago in 2002 by Reid Hoffman and founding team members from PayPal and Socialnet. January this year LinkedIn filed for IPO and its shares, which were initially priced at US$45 rose to $122.70 in the first day of trading. Don’t you wish you’d bought some of those shares as well?
Currently there are over 120 million LinkedIn users world wide and the social website gets over 10 million visits per day according to Quantcast. LinkedIn is the 13th most popular website in the world according to Alexa.
Last week I realised that I hadn’t really covered LinkedIn properly in this blog, so I thought what better way of doing it than presenting two great articles from Mr. LinkedIn marketing himself, Lewis Howes.
I interviewed Lewis about a year ago for my Social Media for Business interview series, and so I contacted Lewis again last week and asked him if he had some good fundamental articles about LinkedIn marketing which I could syndicate, .. and of course he did.
This first one is 10 Powerful LinkedIn Tips and the second one is Top 10 LinkedIn Business Marketing Tips, which I will be posting a bit later. The articles are unedited with my somewhat humble comments in [ ].
So, without further ado, here we go with the first one:
10 Powerful LinkedIn Tips by Lewis Howes
The perceived value of your brand and your database are your most valuable assets. At least this seems to be the case for most entrepreneurs and business professionals I know. Generating success on LinkedIn has everything to do with enhancing your personal brand and expanding your database. In fact, Gary Vaynerchuck talks about the importance of building your brand equity within the social media landscape during this video below (even if you have already seen this, it’s always fun to revisit).
Powerful LinkedIn Tips
Without an identity on LinkedIn, your personal brand will suffer tremendously.
LinkedIn is also the only major social networking site where you can build a large database of highly targeted leads and access that database at any time (by exporting your connections emails).
Since LinkedIn is without a doubt the # 1 business social networking site, it’s important you put the energy and effort into getting the most out of your LinkedIn marketing.
Here are my top 10 LinkedIn tips to achieve this.
1. Control Your Brand
This is the most important aspect for me, and why I included the video with Gary. The best way to take control of your personal brand on LinkedIn is to fill out your entire profile and write concise, compelling, value driven copy.
For most, when you search for your name on Google, your LinkedIn profile is one of the top five results that show up. Control what others view about you by completing your profile 100%, and making it stand out from the rest.
[This is absolutely correct; mine was sixth. Give it a go with yours.]
2. Join Groups In Your Niche
There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn. Connect with the ones that fit your interest or industry. Each group has a job board, a discussion area and forum, and a place to ask questions. Get active in groups as it’s a powerful way to interact and find like minded professionals.
3. Connect With Everyone
This is something I debate with people often. I believe this is a limiting mindset when you don’t allow others to introduce themselves by reaching out to connect with you. How do you expect others to want to hire you or do business with you if you shun them away? Connecting with everyone on LinkedIn not only opens up new possibilities and opportunities, it also increases and expands your 2nd and 3rd degree connections, allowing for more people to find you, contact you and work with you. Simple as that.
[Hmm, yes the debate is still on, Lewis. You might want to limit your connections to your own business areas and interests, otherwise you might end up with a lot of noise in your feed.]
4. Ask Compelling Questions
That’s right. Actually get on LinkedIn and ask a few questions every now and then… is that so hard? I asked two questions that took me five minutes of my time and received over 50 helpful answers in return. Just make sure you ask the right questions and tag it in the places where your target audience is searching.
5. Become An Expert
A great way to share your expertise is to answer questions. One of my connections told me he spends 15 minutes a day, 3 days per week answering questions related to his topic. He says in brings in around 3-5 new clients each month after he follows up with each person (this results in $3,000-$5,000 more each month for him). If leads are your concern, then answering questions could quite possible be your answer.
6. Host Your Own Event
You would not believe the energy and enthusiasm created by hosting a live LinkedIn networking event. I’ve hosted over 20 live events and promoted them all through the LinkedIn events section. One event had over 1,000 RSVP’s and the average event had around 350 paying attendees. It allows you to connect with those online connections… offline, and make powerful face to face relationships. Learn about the benefits of hosting your own LinkedIn event here.
7. Say Thank You
In the real world, people love it when you say “Thank you”. It seems to solve a lot of problems in general. Be sure to say those two important words every time someone does anything for you, such as makes a recommendation, makes an introduction, or answers your questions. Saying “Thank You” is another thing Gary recommends, in fact it is the entire topic of his new book The Thank You Economy.
8. Become Transparent
It seems as though the only way to be successful online these days is to become completely transparent. The more you try to hide something, or stay generic, people will move on to the next thing. Seth Godin says that being remarkable is nothing more than having others remark about you. Take this advice into account as you go along your LinkedIn ways.
9. Create a LinkedIn Group
I can’t say enough about LinkedIn groups and what they have done for my business. They give you more credibility, help you get more leads, and more sales. Here are my top 10 reasons to start a LinkedIn group and other thoughts on how to create a profitable business from your LinkedIn group.
[Abraham Maslow suggested that "the need to belong is a major source of human motivation". LinkedIn groups (as well as Facebook groups) are a great way of connecting with other like minded people and make you feel at home.]
10. Make Recommendations
Chris Brogan has a great post on LinkedIn recommendation tips, and I suggest you check it out before you give any. Of course it looks good to have a lot of recommendations on your profile (Chris has almost 150 of them here) but I always recommend giving them first before you ask for any. Most likely if you give a great recommendation, that person would be happy to return the favour.
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Well, there you have it folks! Let me know how you have been using LinkedIn in your online marketing lately. Do you feel it has helped you in your business?
For my part I can tell that I managed to get some wild traffic just last week as I was using LinkedIn in conjunction with SlideShare.